Sunday, 10 August 2008

Tribute to a wonderful needlewoman

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Or perhaps two - possibly mother and daughter. Anyway, these are the contents of the box of linen I bought at auction yesterday. They have inspired me to make an heirloom item for each of my daughters (fortunately I only have two and not half a dozen, or it would take me forever!)

Close-up of drawn thread work and white work tablecloth. Stunning work.

Another view, which gives you an idea of the border work too.

This pretty tablecloth has four panels of embroidery.

Here's another big cloth, the smaller circles forming a large square design.

This is exquisite and I wonder if it was a wedding present?

Poor close-up of the x-stitch and crocheted cutwork design .

Beautiful crocheted pieces at the corners too and inset.

The quality of this crochet makes me despair.

And again - I think these pieces may have been made around the late Victorian/Early Edwardian period.

And again . . .

This is a very big design for a round table. Stunning.

Crinoline ladies from the 30s?

Close-up of one of the motifs - one in each corner of the tablecloth.

Another wedding present? It is superb workmanship. I wish I had a fraction of this craftswoman's skills.

Above and below - close-ups.

This blue design tablecloth was from the wicker basket of table linen I bought.

A close-up. Would you believe, even the ripple-edging was edged with hand-sewn bias binding?

A colour variation on the other rings pattern tablecloth.


Mam said...

My favorite is the 4th one down with the cross stitch and cutwork. But this is an *amazing* haul! Just unbelievable! Thank you for sharing it. I really enjoyed seeing this meticulous, beautiful work.


Leanne said...

they are all stunning jennie, true treasure, and such stunning skillfull work. I would have bought the boxful too! it saddens me that things like this arent kept and treasured. Ive got some I have bought second hand too, and I really love them, and will look after mine too- a tribute to the women who made them long agao.

Leanne x

Rowan said...

You have a real box of treasures here, it's all beautiful but the crochet pieces are especially good. I think I admire the crochet more because I can't do it whereas I can do cross-stitch and embroidery. Not cutwork or drawn thread work though. It's sad that these needlework skills are found so rarely these days. It's good to think that these have gone to someone who really appreciates them.

Arlene Grimm said...

I like the rings pattern tablecloth. As a needleworker, I am impressed with these beautiful pieces of handwork.

Bovey Belle said...

I am still hugging myself and thinking how lucky I was to find them, and so cheaply. They are my treasures now and will be passed on to my daughters to admire and - apart from the superb ones - used regularly I hope.

My favourite is the one you like too Nancy, but the blue one 2nd from bottom is lovely too, and even the scalloped border has a bias-binding edging all hand sewn with tiny stitches.

The circles tableclothes are very big and must have taken ages to do too.

I'm glad you all enjoyed looking at them.

nita x said...

jennie they are all lovely, what a treasure trove, some of the designs are amazing. such time and patience that must have gone into them.

Kelli said...

Oh my, these are the most beautiful pieces of linen I have seen. What patience and diligence it must have taken. I love the flower rings and the white work tablecloth is amazing!

MrsL said...

They're all beautiful, lovely find.

Tilly said...

What a fabulous find! How could anyone send them off to auction? I especially like the blue one. I've been reading through your blog (just come across you) and your house sounds wonderful. I love old houses and the history which goes with them.

Bovey Belle said...

Tilly - I guess sometimes when an old person dies there aren't immediate family in the area any more and they just have the house cleared and sent to auction, or the grown-up "children" don't want "those old things" . . . I'm sentimental, and I felt I was "meant" to have these beautiful treasures, so perhaps my hand was guided . . .